However, it was abundantly clear from the day the bill was introduced, January 13, 2014, that it was an outrageous attack on humanity under the guise of religious freedom. A few days later, I asked by what objective measure the bill could possibly have been considered about defending religious freedom.
Last week, after the bill was approved by the Arizona House and made ready for the governor's consideration, I started a petition on CREDO MOBILIZE calling for Brewer to veto the bill. More than 33,700 people signed the petition.
Supporters of HUMAN RIGHTS freedoms protested at the state capital several times thereafter. The National Football League sent signals indicating it was considering moving the location of the 2015 Super Bowl (currently scheduled for Glendale, AZ, at the University of Phoenix Stadium) if the governor signed the bill. Numerous other business related indicators, including convention cancellations and loss of job growth opportunities from businesses considering moves to Arizona took place in the meantime.
Several Republican politicians, including three state senators who voted for the bill and both of our state's U.S. Senators, McCain and Flake called for Brewer to veto.
In other words, the PEOPLE of Arizona and the United States spoke loud and clear as a result of understanding the genuine ramifications of this misguided legislation.
By the way, in my analysis of the bill, I invited Herrod, and/or our friend John Kavanagh -- both of whom had advocated on national broadcast media for signing the bill -- to refute or issue a rebuttal to the analysis I published.
PHOENIX - “Today’s veto of SB 1062 marks a sad day for Arizonans who cherish and understand religious liberty.
SB 1062 passed the legislature for one reason only: to guarantee that all Arizonans would be free to live and work according to their faith.
Opponents were desperate to distort this bill rather than debate the merits. Essentially, they succeeded in getting a veto of a bill that does not even exist. (emphasis mine)
When the force of government compels one to speak or act contrary to their conscience, the government injures not only the dignity of the afflicted, but the dignity of our society as a whole.
SB 1062 made certain that governmental laws cannot force people to violate their faith unless it has a compelling governmental interest–a balancing of interests that has been in federal law since 1993.
The religious beliefs of all Arizonans must be respected and this bill did nothing more than affirm that. It is truly a disappointing day in our state and nation when lies and personal attacks can over shadow the truth.”Whose religion rationalizes that it is acceptable to issue bald-faced lies to manipulate your readers into believing what is clearly not true? Cathi Herrod presents as nothing more than whited sepulchre.
If she were even halfway sincere, Herrod might consider some self-reflection and examination along the lines of a 10-question quiz devised by Rev. Emily C. Heath pastor of a United Church of Christ in Vermont. (I can't really tell whether, on the inside, Ms. Herrod is sincere. But I can tell quite a bit, even if not her sincerity, by what she says and does publicly).
1. My religious liberty is at risk because:
A) I am not allowed to go to a religious service of my own choosing.
B) Others are allowed to go to religious services of their own choosing.
5. My religious liberty is at risk because:The results might be surprising.
A) Being a member of my faith means that I can be bullied without legal recourse.
B) I am no longer allowed to use my faith to bully gay kids with impunity.
By the way, a source told me earlier this evening (Wednesday) that the AZ House may vote (Third Read) on 60 bills today (Thursday). Among the pieces of garbage potentially facing approval are HB2481 (the minister/gay marriage preemptive strike against a Supreme Court ruling or ballot measure) and HB2526 (consumer lender loans).
The kicker with HB2526 is that several Democratic members of the House signed on as sponsors. One of whom, when I asked about this bill, became very defensive. Another simply ignored my questions. It's still a Republican bill, but I'm puzzled that any Democrat would support it. By the way, the one Democrat who answered some of my questions told me that Rep. Debbie McCune Davis, who has fought the Payday Loan industry valiantly, supported HB2526. Based on a comment McCune Davis posted to a Facebook discussion thread, I learned that claim was not true.
It is my hope that Democrats stay unified on important legislation. Empowering predatory lenders to add to financial stress of lower income families is important and should be emphatically opposed.
The House voted (Third Read) on HB2526 this afternoon, passing it by a vote of 38-18 with 4 not voting.
Democratic leader Chad Campbell was out of town, and assistant Democratic leader Ruben Gallego apparently also was not present for the vote.
Democrats voting in favor of this legislation to enhance the ability of predatory lenders to heap financial stress on lower income families included Lydia Hernández (LD29/West Phoenix), Catherine Miranda (LD27/South Phoenix), Democratic whip Bruce Wheeler (LD10/Tucson), and Lupe Chavira Contreras (LD19/Cashion).
It is a DISGRACE for those four members to have voted in favor of this bill.
Lest anyone think Republicans Ethan Orr, Heather Carter and Kate Brophy McGee are suddenly "moderates," all three voted in favor of the predatory lenders, and NOT Arizona families in this case.